History was made at the ongoing World Indoors in Portland as Ashton Eaton and his wife, Brianne Theisen Eaton became the first couple in the history of the championships to win GOLD medals in their respective events, albeit for different countries, and with World Leads (WL) too!
Canada’s Brianne stole the show on Day 2 of the competition by winning the Pentathlon. She took the lead in the 60m Hurdles with a Personal Best (PB) of 8.04s; placed 4th in the High Jump (1.85m), 5th in the Shot put (13.70m), 2nd in the Long Jump (6.42m) and 1st in her final event, the 800m (2:09.99).
She amassed a total of 4881 points (WL) to win her first global title, an upgrade from the Silver she won in Sopot, and was followed by the Ukrainian duo of Anastasiya Mokhnyuk and Alina Fodora who set PBs of 4847 and 4770 points respectively.
Ashton followed suit on Day 3, taking his third consecutive World Indoors GOLD in the Heptathlon and achieving the feat in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. Ukraine’s Oleksiy Kasyanov was 2nd with an SB of 6182 points, while Mathias Brugger of Germany set a PB of 6126 points to finish 3rd.
The World Record (WR) holder easily won the 60m Hurdles (7.78s), 60m (6.81s) and Long Jump (8.08m). He placed 6th in the Shot put (14.16m), 5th in the High Jump (1.99m), 2nd in the Pole vault (5.10m) and 3rd in the 1000m (2.35.22) to rake in a WL of 6470 points. He is the first man EVER to win the event thrice.
The battle for supremacy in the women’s 60m final was won by USA’s Barbara Pierre who gave the race her everything, edging Dafne Schippers to take GOLD in 7.02s. The Dutch athlete’s poor start was her nemesis, coming a close 2nd in 7.04s as Elaine Thompson picked the Bronze medal in 7.06s. Cote d’Ívoire’s Marie Josee Ta Lou was 7th in 7.29s.
Bahrain’s Kemi Adekoya raced to the country’s first EVER World Indoors GOLD medal with an Asian Indoor Record (AIR) of 51.45s, ahead of USA’s pair of Ashley Spencer (51.72s) and Quanera Hayes (51.76s).
Czech Republic’s Pavel Maslak fought off stiff competition from Bralon Taplin to successfully defend his title, becoming the first man to achieve this feat. He clocked an impressive 45.44s, while 19-year old Abdalelah Haroun became the youngest ever 400m finalist and medallist in the history of the championships, taking Silver in 45.59s; Trinidad and Tobago’s Deon Lendore took 3rd in 46.17s.
USA’s Boris Berian made history by becoming the first American to win the men’s 800m World Indoors GOLD medal. He inspired a 1-3 finish for his country, taking the victory with an SB of 1:45.83 as Burundi’s Antoine Gakeme took Silver with an SB of 1:46.65. Erik Sowinski won Bronze in 1:47.22. Former world champion Mohammed Aman was 4th in 1:47.97.
Sifan Hassan claimed her first global title for the Netherlands, maintaining her pace in the women’s 1500m to take GOLD in 4:04.96. Reigning world junior champion Dawit Seyaum of Ethiopia settled for Silver with a time of 4:05.30 as her compatriot, Gudaf Tsegay claimed Bronze in 4:05.71s.
One of the notable performances of the day was the women’s Triple Jump event where Yulimar Rojas became the first Venezuelen EVER to win a GOLD medal at the World Indoor Championships. The 20-year old, who leads the world with a distance of 14.69m set in January, recorded only one valid jump in Portland, which was good enough for GOLD.
Her leap of 14.41m saw her take victory ahead of Germany’s Kristin Gierisch (14.30m, SB) and Paraskevi Papahristou (14.15m) who denied USA’s Keturah Orji a place on the podium.
Mutaz Barshim was denied a chance to defend his title as he was edged out from a podium position after finishing 4th in the men’s High Jump with his clearance of 2.29m. Italy’s Gianmarco Tanberi continued his unbeaten streak this season, coming through to take GOLD with a mark of 2.36m.
He was followed by Great Britain’s Robert Grabarz and Erik Kynaard of the USA who set SBs of 2.33m to take Silver and Bronze respectively.
It was another victory for the USA as Michelle Carter saved the best for last, coming from behind to take the win in the women’s Shot put with a WL of 20.21m. Anita Márton of Hungary was 2nd with an NIR of 19.33m, while Olympic champion, Valerie Adams returned to action, taking the Bronze with a throw of 19.25m.
World Leader in the men’s Triple Jump, Bin Dong of China lived up to his reputation, becoming only the third Chinese athlete in history to win a World Indoor title. He won his event with a leap of 17.33m. Max Hess of Germany followed with a PB of 17.14m, while Benjamin Compaore placed 3rd with an SB of 17.09m.
Nigeria’s pair of Tosin Oke and Olu Olamigoke placed 6th and 14th respectively SBs of 16.73m and 15.94m.